The first English and French settlers arrived in the early 17th century. Control then ping-ponged among nations with different government configurations until 1983. That is when Saint Kitts & Nevis (a neighboring island) became an independent country. The Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis is the smallest sovereign state in the Western Hemisphere. The head of state is the U.K. monarch. The highest office is the Governor-General, who lives at the Government House. Also called the Springfield House, the residence was built in 1834.